Big moves in Buffalo alter Free Agency Landscape

Big moves in Buffalo today have a chance to alter the NFL Free Agency landscape as we get closer to the March 9th deadline. Several players were released, none larger than big man Mario Williams. Speculation of the release of the former Pro-Bowl defensive end has been rampant since the end of the season. This is based on Williams’ comments and criticism of the defensive scheme and the use of various players throughout the season and more importantly to One Bills Drive, his massive cap hit for the 2016 season.

Williams’ effort came into question at the end of the season with several players anonymously commenting that he had given up which made his release feel all the more likely. The termination of his contract will save Buffalo $12.9 million in cap space. Mario Williams will not be lacking in suitors as pass rushers are always at a premium in the NFL, even ones coming off disappointing seasons.

Several other players were released in Buffalo as well today, including running back Boobie Dixon, tight end Marquis Gray and offensive guard Kraig Urbik. Dixon is a fan favorite who had highlight reel special teams plays in 2014 but couldn’t replicate the production in 2015. He may catch on somewhere as a third or fourth back that can contribute on special teams. Gray ended the year on Injured Reserve after breaking his forearm in Week 4 against the Giants. He has special teams versatility but remains limited as a Tight End due to his size. He could catch on in an offense that utilizes H-Backs however. Urbik has been a consistent veteran adding valuable depth for Buffalo over the past six seasons. Urbik took a pay cut last off-season to remain with the team yet it wasn’t enough as the cap-strapped Bills looked to make extra room. Urbik will join a pool of free agent Guards over the age of thirty.

Lastly, Buffalo removed the top rated free agent left tackle from the market in giving Cordy Glenn the franchise tag. Glenn was the top ranked lineman and eighth overall free agent according to NFL.com. Unless Buffalo can get Glenn signed long term he will cost the team $13.7 million for the season, certainly a number general manager Doug Whaley would like to lower.

Things are heating up league wide and we are still over a week away from the start of free agency.

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